“I want you to stream me”




Thoughts

Just finished reading a really interesting article from “Ghostly Beard“. He’s a good friend of mine and an amazingly talented artist and we have a lot in common but also have some big disagreements.

"I confess that I’m affected by a rare new disease, and I’m afraid it’s incurable. It started developing when I realized how much streaming platforms were the true enemy of indie music and artists."

So since I’m a big fan advocate of streaming I felt the urge to write my thoughts about it and why I think they are more of a benefit for independent artists then they are an enemy.

For me, nothing is black and white, and streaming has it pro’s and it has it’s con’s. Spotify and similar services where born because there was a demand for easy accessible music and at the same time artists and companies wanted to get paid for their music. In the late 00’s illegal downloading was huge (Pirate Bay, Torrenthunt etc etc) and I can admit I was using it as much as the next guy and I also used it to make my music available for the masses.

As an answer came streaming where the consumer for a small fee or by being forced to listen to commercials got access to almost all music, both mainstream and independent, old music as well as new music. Hence making illegal downloading redundant.  And at the same time the artist actually gets paid something for people listening to their music, even if it’s embarrassingly low per play, but still better than nothing.

To complain about the technical evolution and talking about boycotting streaming services is useless. The biggest problem is that people no longer value the work it takes to create great music and the big companies still has way to much power over the music industry. But that would be the case even if streaming didn’t exist.

My way of tackling it as an independent artist is by using streaming as one means of spreading my music to new listeners but not totally rely on it. I interact directly with people on Twitter and Facebook and when people ask where they can listen to my music I can direct them either to my homepage or YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud or whatever suits them best. And my experience is that 75 % of the people prefer Spotify and so I provide them with my music on Spotify.

And as a big consumer of independent music if someone tells me the only way to listen to their music is via Bandcamp I will most certainly skip it since it’s too much of a hustle instead of just getting a link to their latest EP on Spotify and I can then listen to it wherever I go, be it in the car, at work, at home etc. And if there is an artist I really like I actually prefer to buy a physical record from them instead of paying 10 dollars for a download.

So to sum it up. I think as an independent artist it’s important to choose your road and in what way you wanna spread your music to the world and then build your strategy from that. But the most important thing is to interact and create a experience for your fans. And leaving out a big part of the potential fan base by boycotting streaming services is in my opinion both contra productive and will in no way make the world a better place for independent artists.

With all that being said. If you should make the hustle of downloading one album this year, let it be “Invisible“from Ghostly Beard, it’s freaking amazing.

Updates

I finally got “Pensamentos Relevantes”, the collab with BRUNOSMOKY finished and mixed by Producedbytobi and it’s gonna be released on all services the 24th of November. But it will be available for download on my Messenger Channel two days before, so to be the first to hear it:

Also looking forward to next Friday because I’m playing my biggest venue so far when I’ll enter the stage of Emergenza Festival at 8 pm.

Media

Yesterday it was world premiere for “Pensamentos Relevantes” on the great show Discover New Music with Ivan Roberts on Hospital Radio Crawley. Also some other stations picked it up and it will be in rotation on “Cultofsuperted” on Riviera FM and on “The Future Starts Here” on North Highland Radio.

Also got “Your Dreams” played on the great show “Unsigned Madness with Stephen and Anne” on EGH Radio. What makes this show special is that they have a chat room on Mixlr where you can listen to the show at the same time as you chat with the presenters, other artists and listeners. Really making the experience even better.

And my interview on “Sound and Country Vision” on Siren FM got aired this Thursday. Check it out here, I’m on at 15:30. Their also playing Psalm for Sinners which is the least played song from the last EP, so that feels a bit special.

I also have booked an interview with the really friendly Ally and her show “Ally’s Attic-Show” in December and I’m looking forward to that.

And last but not least I got featured in Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine and their latest edition.

Music recommendations

Normally being a rapper making some solid hip hop. In this song ÃR RÄ makes more of a soft RnB song with acoustic guitar and just the right amount of auto tune-effect to make a tribute to his newly born daughter.

Shaun Doyle got in touch with me via e-mail and he then joined #MonsterThread. And I’m happy he did since his music, that has clear influences from Bon Iver and The National is remarkable. This song is one of my favorite songs of 2017.

The Arañads has been on my radar for a long time, but they were one of those band that I couldn’t choose what song I liked the most. But finally I came to terms and this groovy indie rock tune is a blast.

And on to something totally different. Since I don’t know how to describe it I steal this from DNPQ’s Facebook page. Electronic music producer creating an original, stylish, bouncy, upbeat and exciting new sound featuring elements of house, techno and disco.

The manager of The Trusted has become a friend of mine always letting me know when they release something new. And I’m never disappointing with their songs, and this single is no exception from that. Reminiscing of Arctic Monkeys they provide us with some great indie rock.

Often I just sit at work and letting the music from “Atom Collector Records” make my day a little bit less easier. And every now and then a song really hits me. And that was the case with Alpha Yang.

Matthew Greasley is another great producer of electronica music, a genre that I almost never listened to before but that I become a big fan of lately, thanks to people like him.

And one kind of music I barely never listen to is the kind of pop you hear on radio. But when someone sends a really nice e-mail and their music actually is really cool and not to overproduced I can’t resist it. And that was totally the case with the Slovenian pop-artist Anja Kotar, she is indeed cool!

Keep it real!

11 Comments

  1. It does indeed matter what your goal is. I, for example, are not looking to make money out of my music being online. What I AM trying to do however is build a fan base that may come to our live shows.

    So I want my music everywhere and it does not bother me too much whether I get paid for it or not.

    If I could get to the point where I could guarantee that there would be at least 50 fans at every gig then that opens up a lot of venues who are only interested in how much they can make behind the bar!

  2. Brilliant article. I’m all for streaming. No complaints so far anyway. Along with games and movies everything is all download or streaming now. On a listeners perspective I like having my music digital as I don’t have to worry about cluttered cabinets and media that easily damages.

  3. I get your point Jon, I truly do. Be where the listeners are. Fine. Easy to use… sure.
    I don’t even care about the money TBH. Not for me anyway.

    I just have a big ethical issue using and promoting platforms that are openly petitioning in court to pay less and less royalties and trying to kill all concurrence… platforms that have huge contracts with major labels to push their stuff first and foremost. Platforms who are developing algorithm to eliminate the little guys from their computer generated playlists and in the searches.

    Platforms who, in the future, will probably push AI “composed” music to your listeners ears and try to dictate what everyone should listen to.

    It just doesn’t sound right to me to be endorsing these platforms in any way, whatever the today benefits might be.
    But of course, the path of least resistance is always the one everyone likes to take, I’m just a grumpy old guy who doesn’t like where this world is going.

  4. Streaming platforms are here to stay whether we like them or not (at least for now). I wish they were a bit more considerate to the Artists who create the contents on which they rely on to run.

    They make it easy for Artists to introduce themselves and their work to listeners, compensation is a bit question mark.

    Hopefully the next big thing that comes along will be more Artist friendly. With the online age, I am sure the next big thing is just around the corner.

    Great reading and great music selection.

  5. Sold insights man!

    You set a great example for other musicians to follow by deciding to harness the potential of streaming instead of wasting energy on an unwinnable battle, and ultimately alienating your fanmunity. And you explained the value of it better than I’ve been able to so far.

    You valiantly apply the most fundamental principle of Musicpreneurism: “Taking Ownership”.

    I’ll make sure to share this post with any musicians that complain to me in the future about Spotify 😉

    1. Thanks a lot buddy! I totally agree with this. It’s good to have a healthy debate about the current state of things. But wasting energy battling the development just takes you’re focus from whats important. Getting your music heard by fans.

      I’m planning to write about my Twitter-strategy as well, and it’s a lot inspired of your work so I’ll make sure to let you know when it’s up.

      Cheers man!

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  2. Ode to a friend Jon Magnusson 4:26
  3. Psalm for Sinners Jon Magnusson 2:13
  4. Your dreams Jon Magnusson 3:38
  5. Ode to a Friend (TC Newman Remix) Jon Magnusson 3:52
  6. Your dreams Jon Magnusson/Jayber.C 4:22